News ArchivesRead News

Memory gene discovery holds promise for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s cure

Thursday October 26, 2006

October 20, 2006 (SAWF News) - In what is being termed as a breakthrough in medical science, the discovery of a gene linked to human memory may pave the way for developing new medicines for diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

Researchers at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) in Phoenix, Arizona have used the Affymetrix 500K Array to discover a gene called Kibra, which is associated with memory performance in humans, and will help scientists better understand human memory functions.

The study entitled, ‘Common KIBRA alleles are associated with human memory performance,’ will be published in the latest issue of Science.

"Using the latest Affymetrix 500K Array, we have shed light on the fundamental biological process of human memory performance," said Dr. Dietrich Stephan, director of TGen’s Neurogenomics Division.

"We can use this new understanding to develop drugs that will improve memory function," Dr. Stephen added.

Until now researchers did not have access to the high-density technology needed to examine the genetic components associated with memory performance.

But the team at TGen used Affymetrix Human Mapping 500K Arrays to analyze 500,000 DNA markers simultaneously, providing a genetic blueprint for the memory-study participants.

The researchers discovered the Kibra gene by comparing the genetic blueprints of people with good memory vs. poor memory and looking for the genetic variations consistently present in one group, but not the other. They then validated their discovery by replicating the Kibra gene finding in two separate and distinct groups of subjects.

"This memory study is a perfect example of how the use of advanced technologies in human genetics yields fundamental discoveries," said Stephen P.A. Fodor, Ph.D., chairman and CEO at Affymetrix. (ANI)

Recent News

Nov 22 - A caregiver's story: Living and loving through the slow process of dying
Nov 19 - Testosterone cause of sex differences in the occurrence of Parkinson’s disease, new research suggests
Nov 18 - New strategy reduces side effects in Parkinson's treatment
Nov 14 - Opinion: The never-ending tests of Parkinson's disease
Nov 13 - Parkinson’s disease: A new tool for diagnosis
Nov 10 - Parkinson's Disease Drug May Be Useful For Delaying, Preventing Blindness In Older Population
Nov 9 - Microsoft VP’s diagnosis fuels employees’ heartfelt efforts to help others
Nov 6 - Lewy body dementia: unrecognized and misdiagnosed
Nov 5 - Gait difficulties in Parkinson's linked to new blood vessels in brain
Oct 30 - Special Section: Enabling Technologies for Parkinson’s Disease Management
Oct 27 - Scientists discover a 'switchboard' of molecules that protect against Parkinson's disease
Oct 26 - Dancing improves mobility and quality of life in people with Parkinson's
Oct 23 - The amazing woman who can smell Parkinson’s disease — before symptoms appear
Oct 20 - Personal Essay: The deviousness of dementia
Oct 19 - Mechanism that 'melts' protein clumps may lead to new Parkinson's treatments
Oct 19 - Researchers find that stem cell treatment may reduce cognitive impairment related to dementia with Lewy bodies
Oct 17 - Cancer Drug Helps Parkinson's Patients
Oct 12 - Researchers identify immune gene that can prevent Parkinson's disease and dementia
Oct 12 - Blog Post: An Alert, Well-Hydrated Artist in No Acute Distress
Oct 7 - This month, a brain surgery will be broadcast on live TV for the first time ever